It was effectively an anthology programme, following the lives of a group of workers at a Manchester textile factory, with each episode focusing on the home life of a different character. Well-known actors who appeared in the series included Christopher Eccleston, Philip Glenister, John Simm, Lesley Sharp, Emma Cunniffe, Diane Parish, David Morrissey, and Sarah Lancashire.
The series was highly acclaimed by the critics, winning the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series in 2001. However, over the course of the following two years Abbott's work on the series decreased as he moved on to other projects. Nonetheless, every series was nominated for a BAFTA and other writers such as Danny Brocklehurst, John Fay and Jan McVerry wrote successful stand-alone episodes. The programme finally ended, after a series with no Abbott scripts at all, in 2003.
Overall twenty-seven episodes were produced across the four series, and in 2004 the first series was released on DVD.